A while back Andy and I decided we wanted to go on an adventure. Our research (which there were lots of elements to: not too hot, not too cold, lots of things to do, but lots of relaxing opportunities and so on!) took us to the beautiful island of Mauritius.
I’m the first to admit I had absolutely no idea where Mauritius was until we booked our holiday. It is in fact off the South East coast of South Africa, a bit further over from Madagascar. Boy, were we excited.
I’m going to post a leeeetle bit out of tilt, and I’m going to start off about half way through our holiday, when we rented a car for a couple of days.
We headed straight off for the River Gorge National Park, which is on the west coast of the island.
One of my favourite things about driving around Mauritius was the smell. The main crop on the island is sugar cane, which is harvested by burning away the excess of the plant. The smell is amazing, caramel deliciousness wherever you go.
In the background is Le Morne, one of the tallest mountains on the island with a very sad history. on 1st February 1835, after the abolition of slavery in Mauritius, a police expedition traveled there to inform the slaves that they had been freed. However, the purpose of the expedition was misunderstood and the slaves leapt to their deaths from the rock.
Ironically it is now home to the most exclusive hotels on the island!
As we were driving up to the national park, a family of monkeys crossed the road in front of us. Of course we both screamed ‘MONKEEEEEEYS’. Which, in hindsight, probably scared them off because there wasn’t another monkey to be seen for the entire day.
We stopped off at a fantastic viewpoint half way up the mountain.
I think I want to live in that lagoon.
We then stumbled upon this other viewpoint… not too shabby!
Having spent all morning and afternoon trying to find more monkeys, we were starving. We drove to Tamarin bay, a town on the West coast, in search of prawns.
Our wishes were granted!
Needless to say, Andy was delighted.
After trying (and failing) to rent a surfboard for Andy to surf the famous Tamarin waves, we headed to the 6km long beach Flic en Flac to watch the sun set.
The next day, we headed out early to explore the Botanical gardens of Pamplemousse.
Naturally, we headed straight for the giant tortoises.
The big guy in this picture really was HUGE. He veeeery slowly nudged all the other tortoises out of the way to get to the tasty tasty grass.
This is avatar. Apparently.
The gardens have the most beautiful plantation style house.
These birds were all over Mauritius and I wish I had a better photo – they have a full on mohican, which never ceased to amuse me.
We then drove on to Grand Bay, one of the larger towns on the island. I don’t know what I was expecting but it certainly wasn’t this!
I could just swim out to the rock and sit under that umbrella and read all day. Heaven.
Having explored Grand Bay, we were determined to find a place called Cabane du Filao, a tiny shack on a coastal road in Northern West Mauritius. It is one of the top rated places for food in Mauritius on Tripadvisor, and promised super fresh seafood with a sea view. Cabane du Filao is run by Trish and Vic, A husband and wife duo who could not have been friendlier. Vic is a fisherman, and Trish a very talented chef who cooks up whatever Vic has caught that morning. We ordered a whole rabbit fish in curry sauce, and half a kilo of prawns.
The food came out with little school dinner style trays, with an assortment of chutneys, chilli dips and fresh bread for a good round o’dippin’.
Turns out the prawns were so huge that half a kilo equaled four prawns. But those four prawns were the best I’ve ever had, served up with spices and herbs.
This was followed by the local speciality, barbecued bananas with coconut and rum.
As we left, they let us scrawl a message on the cabane. A perfect end to a perfect day!